The Aging Face – Why and How our Faces Age
Submitted by drgailhumble on August 3, 2013
FAT: A youthful look depends on having the right amount of facial fat in the right places. Aging can cause redistribution, accumulation, and atrophy of fat which leads to facial volume loss. Some areas lose fat, for instance the forehead and cheeks. We see lines in the forehead, and sallow cheeks. Other areas gain fat, for example the mouth and jaw. As these fat pads are modified, the skin does not modify accordingly, which leads to contour deficiencies: lines, wrinkles, etc. In addition, the areas of fat tend to become farther apart. Instead of a smooth, almost continuous layer, the fat pads appear as separate structures. BONE: There is a significant loss of facial bone with age, as there is with bones in the rest of the body. This can be due to a number of things, including bone expansion, and bone resorption (a natural process of aging-bone cells break down bone and release minerals into the bloodstream). Bone resorption leads to volume loss. Without the structural support of the bone, there are noticeable changes in the layers (the fat and skin) that lay on top of, and are supported by the bone. Like a house, if the foundation is undermined, you start to see cracks in the walls. Knowing this, we can treat the underlying problem (fat and bone loss), instead of the superficial result of the problem (sagging skin). Anti-Aging medicine has come up with a number of ways to deal with the real problem, usually involving some sort of filler. These range from the older, more established fillers (Radiesse, Perlane, Restylane, Juvederm, Sculptra) to more recent, new and innovative options (PRP, Stem Cell Facelift). The old days of simply treating the symptom (a traditional face lift which would essentially stretch the skin) are over. We now have an understanding of the underlying problems and can treat them with much more effective tools.